One Of The First Wild Cases Of Polio Has Been Reported In Malawi!

Nikki Attkisson | Last Updated : February 21, 2022

This disease has been around for many years now and its first case was reported in the mid-1800s while there were several outbreaks in the early 1900s. Since then, polio has been on the decline and its sporadic outbreaks are one of the main reasons that have grieved people for a long time chiefly in the underdeveloped countries of Africa.

One Of The First Wild Cases Of Polio Has Been Reported In Malawi!

Malawi, a country in East Africa, has been polio-free since 2002, but according to recent reports, the country is now reporting its first case of wild polio in more than five years.      

One Of The First Wild Cases Of Polio Has Been Reported In Malawi!

The Ministry of Health on Monday said a  3-year-old girl was diagnosed with the virus at Mulanje District Hospital. Reports further stated that she had not traveled abroad and her parents were unaware that she had been vaccinated against the disease.

Polio has been one of the most dreaded sicknesses in the history of mankind. It is a highly infectious disease that affects the nervous system causing paralysis and in some cases extreme death.

The three main ways that people can get infected with polio:-

•Through getting in direct contact with a particular person with the virus.

•Through indirect contact by eating food or drinking water contaminated with feces and environmental contamination from sewage systems that have been improperly treated.

In rare instances when exposure to this disease occurs during outbreaks, children under 5 years old may be more severely affected than older children because they have not yet developed immunity against the virus and do not respond as well as adults do when infection occurs later in life.

In the last two years, there have been four polio outbreaks in Africa: one in Cameroon, one in Chad, and two in Somalia. In all cases, the virus was imported from Pakistan.

The strain that was recognized in Malawi was connected to the one found in Pakistan, yet it isn’t clear how or when it showed up in the southern African country. The case was affirmed after tests were completed on examples from the infected child who was suffering from paralysis as said by the Global Polio Eradication Initiative. The child’s condition is currently stable and there are no other suspected cases in Malawi, according to health officials.

Dr. Richard Muhumuza, the director-general of the public health services at Malawi’s ministry of health said that it was very unfortunate to have reported the first case of polio.

Modjirom Ndoutabe, the polio coordinator in the WHO’s regional office for Africa said that the previous case of wild poliovirus in Africa was identified in northern Nigeria in 2016while the most recent outbreak started in September 2018, and there have been more than 1,000 cases reported since then.

Other reports universally recognized only five cases back in 2021. In addition to that, WHO said that the country would be ready to mobilize all the resources to support the country’s response if there would be further instances of the wild poliovirus case.

Africa has had a long history with polio. South Africa utilized crowd-funding techniques during the 1960s to raise funds for a research facility to foster the polio vaccine, with a team with worldwide scientists. The office started as the Poliomyelitis Research Foundation and formed into the National Institute for Communicable Diseases, which has all the more played the main part in the battle against COVID-19, listeria, and other different pathogens. In South Africa, Polio still plays a huge part in routine youth vaccinations.

Africa was proclaimed free of wild poliovirus in August of 2020 by the WHO following the culmination of all the years of efforts when situation which had seen an expected 75,000 kids incapacitated annually.

Polio annihilation endeavors in Africa have kept almost 2,000,000 children from paralysis and saved around 180,000 lives.

Determining the vaccine for polio is extremely rare. However, to battle against this disease, a new live vaccine was developed named the novel oral polio vaccine, serotype 2 (nOPV2).

This vaccine got permission for listing in November 2020, not long before the SARS-CoV-2 vaccines, and has effectively been utilized in seven African nations.

We can conclude by saying that in an economically challenged continent like Africa, polio can turn out to be a large reason for people to suffer in the continent. However, we can use proper vaccines and medications to come out of this condition.

Nikki Attkisson

With over 15 years as a practicing journalist, Nikki Attkisson found herself at Powdersville Post now after working at several other publications. She is an award-winning journalist with an entrepreneurial spirit and worked as a journalist covering technology, innovation, environmental issues, politics, health etc. Nikki Attkisson has also worked on product development, content strategy, and editorial management for numerous media companies. She began her career at local news stations and worked as a reporter in national newspapers.

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